Since trading longtime captain, Eric Staal, and the 2016 trade deadline the Carolina Hurricanes have been without a captain. Since that time the Hurricanes have played with three alternate captains.
After signing a contract extension, GM Ron Francis spoke on the issue during an interview, “We’ll be very patient going into the season (and) see how things play out,” Francis said. “If we’re comfortable putting the ‘C’ on somebody we’ll do that. If we want to take the route of multiple assistant captains we’ll look at that as well.”
Though the title of captain is an important one to an organization, the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t going to rush into a captain that doesn’t make sense. The organization will take a long hard look at the roster and the locker room to see if anyone is deserving.
If they deem no one is, it is not the end of the world. The Canes will just continue on with three alternate captains. This isn’t too out of the ordinary, the Monteal Canadiens played the 2014-2015 season with three alternates.
Potential Candidate for Captain
There are two major candidates for captain of the team, Justin Faulk and Jordan Staal. Jordan Staal may seem like the safe pick, since he has been one of the longest tenured and oldest players on the team.
Staal has been a leader on and off the ice ever since his brother, Eric, was traded. He is a safer bet as the next captain due to his experience and history with the team. Staal is currently signed through the 2023 season, however his future is somewhat up in the air.
Staal has expressed his disappointment in not playing with his brother Eric, and Jordan has had up and down seasons. His contract, with an AAV of $6mil, is tough to move, but if the Carolina Hurricanes find a trade partner they would certainly consider moving the vet.
Justin Faulk getting the “C” would be seen more as a move for the future. He is only 24 years old, but he has multiple seasons of NHL experience. Faulk has proved to be one of the best defensemen in the league and will likely be with the Carolina Hurricanes for the next decade.
Though it may be seen as a little too early to make him the next captain, he will certainly be considered for it. If no captain is assigned this season it is very likely that Bill Peters and Ron Francis will be grooming Faulk to take on that role for the 2017-2018 season.
Though these moves may seem a little strange and confusing by fans but it shows that Francis and Peters are building the team correctly and not quickly. Proper rebuilds take time, and look exactly like the Hurricanes look now.